A surprising source admits Obama has broken with past support of IsraelA surprising source - JTA's Ron Kampeas - has admitted that President Obama has broken with past American support of Israel.
I believe it represents a substantive -- if subtle -- break with his recent predecessors. The way I've put it as that while Obama's predecessors have recognized the 1967 lines as a Palestinian aspiration, Obama has embraced those lines (again, with swaps) as U.S. policy.Recognizing what 'Palestinian' aspirations are is a statement of fact and is not agreeing with those aspirations, let alone making them US policy.
Now, recognizing the 1967 lines as a Palestinian aspiration -- as President George W. Bush did -- is not nothing, so I have some sympathy for the view that Republicans have overblown to a degree Obama's shift.
It is not nothing because Palestinians have plenty of aspirations, but the ones recognized by the world's single remaining superpower accrue legitimacy. Neither Bush nor Obama nor any of their predecessors (with the possible exception of -- of all presidents -- Harry Truman) recognized a Palestinian "right of return," for instance.
So Obama's embrace of "1967 lines with swaps" is substantive, it matters -- but it doesn't come out of nowhere. It should also be said that some of the parameters he embraced as U.S. policy favor Israeli positions, including a non-militarized Palestinian state and recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
Kampeas goes on - after being prodded by the Jewish Democrats who hang on his every word - to point out that a Republican also called for a similar formulation: William Rogers, who was Richard Nixon's first Secretary of State.
We believe that while recognized political boundaries must be established, and agreed upon by the parties, any change in the pre-existing lines should not reflect the weight of conquest and should be confined to insubstantial alterations required for mutual security. We do not support expansionism. We believe troops must be withdrawn as the Resolution provides. We support Israel's security and the security of the Arab States as well. We are for a lasting peace that requires security for both.Well, yes, but that's the Secretary of State and not the President. And Yehuda Avner reports in The Prime Ministers that Nixon disagreed with the Rogers Plan and urged then-Israeli ambassador to the US to work directly with the White House rather than through Rogers.